Tech

Wild Reading, October 3-9

Being a science writer, I spend most of my time reading, digging for stories and finding out what is going on internationally. Wild Reading is about sharing these amazing snippets. Some of these are linked to stories I’m working on, some are just strange things that have found their way onto my computer screen. All…

1 Comment Continue Reading →

Wild reading

Being a science writer, I spend most of my time reading, digging for stories, finding out what is going on internationally. When my partner and I finally sit down to the dinner table, one of us usually asks, “So what did you learn today?” Wild reading is about sharing these amazing snippets (like did you…

3 Comments Continue Reading →

Birding for beginners

Twitching is a term used in birding circles to describe the act of travelling far and wide to track down rare birds. Twerking is a term used in birding circles to describe the act of standing in the bush with your tush in the air chasing off birds. Our hiking party did neither on the…

3 Comments Continue Reading →

The dashed dreams of medical quackery

White South Africans harbour numerous carefully nurtured prejudices about their fellow citizens and delusions about themselves. One is that blacks are uneducated and backward, eschewing reason for superstition. Whites, in contrast, are masters of reason, hacking a scientific path through thickets of ignorance. Such assumptions are particularly glaring in health matters. Although the term “witchdoctor”…

18 Comments Continue Reading →

Another feminist review of GTA V

My grubby little paws got their hands on Grand Theft Auto V yesterday and I cannot wait until Friday when I can start playing the hell out of it. Having it sitting at home without being able to play it because of late work nights is akin to a new form of torture. To tide…

23 Comments Continue Reading →

Star Trek, technology and being human

When I lived in the US, I made sure to catch at least one episode of the original Star Trek television series, conceived by Gene Roddenberry in the 1960s, which has spawned at least 10 feature films to date. Had I wanted to, it could have been up to half a dozen a night, on…

7 Comments Continue Reading →

Academia is Africa’s last hope

“I am studying mathematics because I wanted to study something as difficult as it is useless.” I follow this statement with a polite laugh and wink. This is how I answer a person asking me why I’m studying a subject that most people regard with a terrified shudder (no doubt linked to their bad memories…

20 Comments Continue Reading →

Ecuador, ‘our rainforest’ and growing money on trees

It was an incredibly bold plan to begin with, and heart-breaking when it failed. Rather than drill for oil in the Yasuni rainforest, Ecuador would keep the forest intact and biodiversity flourishing in exchange for compensation of $3.6 billion. That’s roughly half of what the country would have made if the drilling went ahead. Earlier this…

5 Comments Continue Reading →

Spooky action: One brain controlling another

A lot of research papers find their way onto my desk and off it. Some make you think “wow that is incredibly cool”, some make you wonder where people get the funding to study the obvious or arcane. But every once in a while, there’s an article that makes you wonder whether you are in…

3 Comments Continue Reading →

So, someone you know wants to become a doctor?

Every now and then someone young approaches me for advice on choosing medicine as a profession. They are all extremely bright, capable and enthusiastic semi-adults, with strong desires to change the world and to “make a difference”. With on average 6 000 applicants for 250 places at a medical training university, the odds are against all…

13 Comments Continue Reading →
Page 10« First...91011...2030...